Cotler releases 18-point ‘road map’ against Iran

Aim is to ‘sound the alarm and wake up the international community’ to foreign and domestic threats posed by Teheran.

cotler 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
cotler 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Iran should be brought before the International Court of Justice at The Hague for its state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, said former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler on Tuesday as he unveiled an 18-point road map designed to hold Teheran in check.
At a Jerusalem press conference, Cotler called for stiffer action against Iran’s nuclear program, even as he warned that focusing solely on that threat had “sanitized” other significant threats, such as Teheran’s “genocidal incitement,” support of international terrorism and “domestic repression.” Former High Court of Justice president Meir Shamgar, who was also at the press conference, said, “In Iran there is a massive assault on human rights and the rule of law, while dangerous state-sanctioned incitement to genocide continues unabated, the whole amidst a culture of impunity.” In hopes of changing the tenor and scope of international activity against Iran, Cotler, on behalf of the Canadian-based organization Responsibility to Prevent Coalition, released a 200-page international report called “The Danger of a Nuclear, Genocidal and Rights-Violating Iran: The Responsibility to Prevent Petition.”
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The report has been endorsed by 100 scholars, jurists, parliamentarians, human rights activists and former world leaders.
“We want to sound the alarm and wake up the international community,” Cotler told The Jerusalem Post.
According to the report, Iran executed 26 juvenile offenders from 2005 to mid-2008, which accounted for 80 percent of all juvenile executions in the world. It quoted a statistics from the NGO Stop Child Executions, which said that there are 140 minors on death row in Iran.
Cotler also pointed to the case of an Iranian mother of two who had been sentenced to death by stoning for the crime of adultery.
Following international pressure, Iran recently said it froze the matter for “review.”
In his road map, Cotler called for the use of international and domestic law, as well as sanctions, to redress the massive human rights violations in Iran.
Among his suggestions were limiting foreign visits by Iranian leaders, raising human rights issues in every bilateral meeting with Iran, freezing assets of Iranian officials, supporting organizations that document human rights abuses in Iran, and ensuring that Iranian officials involved in acts of torture and terror are not immune to to civil law suits.
Individual governments could terminate contracts with companies that facilitate domestic repression and the disruption of free communication in Iran, according to the report.
It added that the names of companies that send surveillance equipment to Iran should be published.
With respect to state incitement to genocide by the government in Teheran, the report noted that “every State Party to the Genocide Convention can initiate an inter-state complaint before the International Court of Justice against Iran, which is also a state party to the Genocide Convention.”
The UN Security Council could also sanction Iran on this matter, said Cotler.
According to the report, there is a “critical mass of precursors to genocide in Ahmadinejad’s Iran, constituting thereby not only the prelude to a preventable tragedy, but a crime in and of itself under international law. Simply put, Iran has already committed a crime of incitement to genocide.” The report added that it was an “international legal obligation of the highest order” to prevent this genocide.
With regard to the larger issue of sanctions against Iran, particularly with an eye toward its nuclear program, the road map stated that Iranian airplanes should not be able to land in other countries, and cargo ships should not be able to dock.
The report said that better enforcement was needed with regard to national and international sanctions. It took issue with the US, in particular, which it said had sent “mixed and disturbing messages to the corporate world regarding doing business in Iran.” In the last decade, according to the report, the US government awarded more than $107 billion in contract payments, grants and other benefits to foreign and multi-national companies doing business in Iran. That includes nearly $15 billion to companies that violated American sanctions law by making large investments that helped Iran develop its vast oil and gas reserve.
Separately at the press conference, Bassam Eid, founder and chairman of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring group, spoke of Iran’s link to terrorist activity in Gaza and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Iran, he said, was a danger to the region and to the security of the Palestinian people.